Happy Thanksgiving!

Last week, I had my students make a poster of things that they were thankful for. To show them what I expected, I made an example showing my own. (Please excuse my crappy drawings!)  It was nice to put down on paper just a few of the things I am so thankful for.I felt like a kid again.

I thank the Lord for all these things.....
I am so thankful for my family and all the love that they show me and for being the source of comfort and happiness in my life. I have the best parents in the world, a brother that I can call one of my best friends, my nephew who is so stinkin' cute, and my husband who is all of these things and more, wrapped up into a handsome little package. I love you!

I am so thankful for all of my friends and for all the happiness and laughter that they bring me. My friends from back home, my college friends,  my bunco girls, my yoga girls,
my blogger friends, and my co-workers Thank you.  
Ruff Ruff! That means I love you in pup talk.
Lord, thank you for providing my family with everything we need.
I am very thankful that I have a job this year,
 one that I  love and can show passion for once again.
I am thankful for each one of my students, past and present.

I am so thankful for all of the blessings in my life, great and small.
I am thankful for YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Drizzle of Gobble Gobble

T minus two days, my friends! Thanksgiving is almost here! The day where we remember all the blessings we have in our lives, spend time with our loved ones, and see how many plates of food we can shovel into our mouths before we KO. I'm excited and so is my belly.

Hubs and I already decided which of our families we will be seeing because you know that's a HUGE deal for newly married couples. We will have to spend many hours in the car, but it'll be so worth it in the end. Plus, two trips mean two different kinds of Thanksgiving meals! WHOO HOO!

I've already picked my outfit... something stretchy...leggings perhaps?

But, one thing I've had to put a lot of thought into before finally committing is what to COOK! Luckily I only have to bring a side dish or a dessert. I've decided I don't want to try something new. I don't want to stress out about whether it'll be good or not. Instead, I went through my recipes and found.....

Cheesy (Crack) Potatoes

SOOOOO addicting and delicious. This is a dish that is sooo good, yet so bad. It's ok, Holidays are meant for indulgences! I got this recipe in college from a friend (Hi Theresa!) and I was in loved right away! It's so extremely easy, too!
1(30oz) bag of hash browns
1 can of cream of chicken
1 pint of sour cream
1 stick of butter
3+ cups of shredded cheddar

1. Mix together all ingredients. Pour into a casserole dish. Top with cheese.
2. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Eat. Repeat. Eat. Repeat.

See how easy that is? I really don't want a dish that's fussy and this is perfect!

Now what should I bring as a dessert? Let's recap Project Wifey Wife!

Maybe I should make my mini apple puffs?

My Carrot Cake Cookies would be perfect....
I'll have to think about that more.... dessert is very serious, you know.

  • What are you making for Thanksgiving?

Weekend Recap: Meeting a Burger I Did Not Like

Well Happy Monday to ya! I think most everyone I know seems to be happy that this week is a short week. Thanksgiving HERE WE COME! But guys, I take that happy cake.... my fellow teachers and I are off for the whole week....I know I know, we are lucky sons of you know whats. I am loving every minute of it!

This weekend was full of new happenings. First up, I got a new do'. It was about time, too. I was starting to look a little crazy lady there. After I snapped this picture, I was so embarrassed with myself. Talk about letting myself go in the scalp! I haven't had a haircut in over a year!
Good job, Joanna for FINALLY getting a haircut...it's boring...but it'll do.
Moving on....

After playing with my hair for most of the day (so soft) hubs and I went on a double date with my Kuya and Katrina. We went to one of my favorite burger joints!
Their burgers are a step up from fast food burgers, but a step down from gourmet burgers. I love their meat and buns. Rawr!

I also appreciate their amazing condiment and produce station! Build it and they will come. 
Tell me that these stations aren't awesome opossum!
I opted for the Swiss and mushroom burger and it was nummy for my tummy.

Hubs went with a regular bacon cheeseburger and wanted to show off the salt and pepper shakers apparently. He's odd sometimes.
Kuya and Katrina were more daring and got different kinds of meats. I was surprised to see Katrina got an Elk Burger! That's surprising because 99.9% of her meals have only chicken. She's what we'd call a picky eater. But, luckily she's not those picky eaters that I hate...she actually tries things that we offer her no matter how weird they are. Kudos, Katrina! (My Kuya can be very odd. too. Him and Hubs get along just fine.)
I'm the type that would try everything once and I bravely tried the Elk Burger. I immediately spit it out. WHAT? I spit out a burger? I must be out of my mind!! But, I just couldn't stand the gamy taste. ::shivers:: This might go on my list... you know, my food foes list.

After our trip to burger town, we decided to go to what I like to call, Grown-up Chuck E. Cheese!
Dave and Busters is a place where adults can drink their fancy cocktails, eat their fancy chicken strips, and play their fancy race car games. It's a dream, really. 
We danced...like idiots.
We played trivia...like idiots. (Nothing makes your feel worse than not knowing trivial facts that everyone in the world seems to know.)
And then, I found my new favorite game!! FRUIT NINJA! HIYA!
I spent about $10 $20 playing this bad boy! It's super addicting. I mean....it has food AND I'm a ninja for the day! It's a filipino foodie's dream game!

And the best part about Dave and Busters is that you get TICKETS for real prizes! Hubs and I had enough for a blender...no lie.... but we decided to hold out for something better. I have my eye on one of those Chinese thumb trap thingys.

It was a fantabulous weekend! But the thing that made it better was knowing that I don't have work for a whole week! HIYA!!!

The Mission Inn 5K

I hate my Nike iPod thingy. But more on that later.

The Race: Mission Inn 5K Run- November 13, 2011
I signed up for this one because it was pretty local and looked harmless. I didn't think it would be that crowded. Boy, was I wrong.
The Course:
It started next to the beautiful Mission Inn in Downtown Riverside, circling Fairmount Park, going up a KILLER hill which seemed endless, and ended right back to the Mission Inn. It was a nice course but I wish I anticipated and practiced for the hill that nearly killed me.

The Preps: The night before, I made sure I ate a good amount of carbs. I was lucky that the family party I went to was loaded with a crazy and odd amount of chicken. YAY protein. I know I was only running a 5K, but any excuse to carb load is ok by me. When I get pregnant, that baby is going to be the excuse of why I gained 200 ELL BEE ESSES! It's all about finding good scapegoats and races are good ones!

And then, I needed my mantras. I have two that really keep me going during ALL of my runs. For me, it's all mind over matter and I need all the cliche quotes I could get!
Jillian's quote really put that fire under my ass. I had to remember that the feeling of my lazy muscles activating and screaming for mercy was not a reason to stop. I had to remember that sweat beading down my forehead and stinging me in the eyeball was not a reason to stop. The bugs that flew in my mouth.... not a reason to stop. YAY protein. 
This also kept me going. My ultimate goal is to feel STRONG. I want to feel good about myself for once and I know being healthy and fit will help me feel that way. When I run, I feel like that person I always wanted to be.

I woke up at about 6:00am pumped and ready to rule the world...through a 5K. I know that sounds uber ridic, but I had that fire in me that was ready to show them who's boss. And by them, I mean my scrawny muscles. I ate a little bit of an Odwalla granola bar which was yummy and not at all heavy and also took some energy blasts. These are my FAVORITE!
They taste like candy and really give you that "blast" of energy to keep you from getting comatose on your run. Nothings worse then going lazy legs on your run and bailing out 5 minutes in. I would know...that's how I am during the week. 

Hubby woke up and was nice enough to drive me to the race while whispering sweet nothings and motivation in my ear while I freaked out in the car. When I got there, I picked up my bib, chip, and posed for some snapshots.
Yay for drain covers!

After my photo session with hubs, which was all of 2 snapshots, I searched the crowds for my buddy T! It was nice to run with her again! I miss you T!!  We wiggled our way through the sea of people and waited for the race to start. I was anxious!

It started slow because there were literally a million people...maybe more. Nonetheless, it was a good start. I paced myself, rocked out to The Black Keys, Sleigh Bells, Radiohead, and Florence + the Machine. I used my ipod Nike thing, just like I do during my training and it was nice to hear the lady in my earbuds telling me when I hit each Kilometer.
My former BFF
Let the record show that I do not use the chip like this. I do have a shoe pocket for it.

I was in pretty high spirits because the sun was out, it wasn't raining like I thought it would, the air was cool and crisp, the crowd was pumping me up, and T was running fast which made me push myself to go faster.

It wasn't until the last leg of the race when my spirits started fading. There was a hill I didn't anticipate and my last song on my 5K playlist was starting to play. My ipod told me I completed the 5K, but I wasn't near the finish line yet! I was all in a tizzy and getting sad that my training sessions were being shortchanged. I wasn't training for the right distance apparently.

I felt REALLY weak and wanted to quit, but I had to remember my original goal, which was to run a 5K without stopping. So, I paced myself and remember that I wasn't puking, fainting, or dying...so I had to keep going. I finally saw the finish line...a bug flew in my mouth for added protein....and I saw my mom, dad, and hubby all cheering me on to keep going. It made my heart happy....or was that a mild stroke... I don't know.

When I crossed the finished line, my ipod registered me at running 6.3 Kilometers in 34 minutes, which was a 9:00 pace. I knew right away that wasn't right. My time was 34:17. ::trying to be positive:: That is 4 minutes faster than my last race....I'LL TAKE IT! And I'll take my ipod Nike chip and crush it into the ground! Grrrr!!!

After the race I spent quality time with my family and stuffed my face with this....
Corned Beef Hash and Eggs and Banana Pancakes..... I rewarded myself with food... I am a dog. *Ruff Ruff*

Army Brat

I am proud to be a brat...a full on Army Brat. I am proud of that title because it tells the world that my dad served in the Army. Not only that, he was a Warrant Officer (Who Rah!). I'm incredibly proud to have a dad that worked so incredibly hard to become a high ranking military officer

Because of his hard work an dedication to our country and more importantly, our family, he gave me a childhood that I am truly blessed and thankful to have had.

Because of his commitment to the Army, we were stationed in random corners of the World. He didn't move kicking and screaming (like I did), but took orders to serve his country. Sure it was hard, but looking back makes me realize how awesome my childhood really was. 

I was born in Germany, moved to Colorado when I was a toddler, started grade school in Northern California, traveled to almost all of the countries in Europe by the age of 11, lived on the coolest training base in the country as a middle schooler, and graduated High School in the High Desert. I was also blessed enough to make so many friends along the way.
Germany circa horrible fashion days
Because of his hard work and dedication for so many years, I was given a full ride to college and grad school, tuition free. I cringe when I think about how much college debt people have to pay. I feel so lucky to have a father that worked his ass of to give me a better life.
Getting my teaching credential in 2006
Because of my daddy's hard work, I always had a roof over my head, delicious food to eat, a loving home, and a wonderful role model to look up to. I strive to have the drive and work ethic that he has. Even though he is retired, he continues to work for the Military in other ways. He loves this country and has done so much and in turn has given so much to me. He has given me the opportunity to have a wonderful life. He allowed me to see the world.

My daddy walking me down the aisle

Happy Veteran's Day to all those soldiers, past and present, who put their lives on the line for us.

I love you, Dad. Thank you for working so hard for your country and your family.

Pesto Puffs and Dashing Pups

I really can't speak enough about how much I love pastry puff. I dream of eating it fresh out of the oven with Nutella schmeared all over it, melting from the heat. Oooo baby, you know what I LIKE!

Here are two other recipes and blogposts where I talk about my obsession with this crispy creation.
Mini puffed apple pies
Sweet and Salty Puff Daddy Pastries

This weekend I went to a little Halloween party on Hubby's side of the family. It was so cute!! There were little cousins dressed as Hello Kitty, Joker, Teletubbie, and Raggedy Ann. Even grandma dressed like a vampire!! The food was simple but delicious and the decorations were in full effect. Oh, how I wish I didn't forget my camera!

Bloggers, you know the sad feeling in your heart when you dig through your purse to find that you didn't bring your camera?  Yeah... I had that.

I did manage to snap photos of the little appetizers that I made...well... I managed to snap the process.

Pesto Cream Cheese Puffs
(Pampered Chef Recipe)

Cream Cheese
Pesto a la Jar
Puff Pastry
Will power so you don't eat them all

Here are the magic verbs....

(For 20 minutes at 350F)

Again, I didn't remember to take a picture of the finished product. I figured your imaginations are so amazing and vivid, that you could just make up the ending on your own. But, for those of you whose imaginations suck, here is a pretty accurate picture of what it looked like.

HEY! It's all I could find...deal with it. Jokes. That isn't even puff pastry. I would know... I'm a connoisseur of puff.

Moving on....

Yesterday, hubby and I beat some kind of world record for the lamest Halloween turn out. We had a whopping TWO trick or treaters! And to make it worse... I didn't even know what the hell they were dressed as! (But they weren't dressed as skanks so extra candy for them!)

To make the most of the night, Hubby and I set up camp outside and ate our yummy dinner.
Pesto Pasta and Porkchops

As you can see, Hubby was in the spirit of Halloween and dressed up as a man who just got off of work....pretty spot on if you ask me. And lil ol' me? I dressed up as a girl that didn't die from her afternoon run... I jazzed it up with the boob flattening sports bra and beads of sweat. I went ALL out!

And Sonic took home the bacon (he wishes so desperately for that to be true).

He dressed up like Bond...James Bond. So freggin' adorable. I could just eat him....but I wont because that would feed into the stereotype of Asians eating dogs.